What is the rhyme scheme for "Eating Poetry?"  

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"Eating Poetry" by Mark Strand has what is called an irregular rhyme scheme. That means, rather than regular rhymes at the end of each line, a free-verse rhythm is established.

In regular rhyming poems, such as those of Alexander Pope, lines are written in couplets, which means that...

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"Eating Poetry" by Mark Strand has what is called an irregular rhyme scheme. That means, rather than regular rhymes at the end of each line, a free-verse rhythm is established.

In regular rhyming poems, such as those of Alexander Pope, lines are written in couplets, which means that the last word in every pair of lines rhymes exactly. Other common rhyme schemes involve the last word in every other line rhyming.

In "Eating Poetry," however, the rhyme scheme is more erratic, more accurately mimicking the creative process. There is one rhyming couplet at the end of the poem, in which "dark" rhymes with "bark." Otherwise, the poem relies on what are called weak or feminine rhymes, words that almost, but do not quite, rhyme. Examples of this are "poetry" at the end of stanza one and "sees" at the end of the first line of stanza two, which almost, but do not quite, rhyme. Strand also uses internal feminine rhyme with "feet" and "weep" in stanza three and "knees" and "screams" in stanza four.

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To determine the rhyme scheme for any poem, begin by labeling the first line "a." Look at the last word of the second line; if it rhymes with the last word of the first line, label it "a"; if not, label it "b." Label any subsequent lines that rhyme with the first line "a" and with the second line "b" (if different). Continue through the poem, assigning a new letter to each line that does not rhyme with a previous line and the same letter to lines that rhyme with previous lines.

Following this formula, the poem "Eating Poetry" has the following rhyme scheme: abc def ghi jkl mmn opp. This means there are no end rhymes for the first four stanzas. The first two lines of stanza five rhyme with each other, and the last two lines of the poem rhyme with each other. Lacking a regular rhyme scheme, this poem is considered free verse. The poem's unconventional rhyme scheme works well with the unconventional content of the poem.

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